I remember every detail to my day when I found out what had happened. I was in my 5th grade class when my teacher, Mrs. Sullivan, asked my friend Caitie and I to take a note down the the principles office. I remember walking down the hallway and passing two 6th grade girls talking about how someone had bombed the Twin Towers in NYC. My first thought was that someone had thrown one of those black bombs you see in Bugs Bunny cartoons into the building. When I had returned to the class room, Mrs. Sullivan was with the other three 5th grade teachers on their cellphones. Mrs. Sullivan was crying and Ms. Hart, whose birthday it was that day, was holding her up. Within 10 minutes of being back in the room, everyone in my class was being called down to the office because their parents were there to pick them up. I live in Vienna, which is a town 15 minutes outside of Washington, DC. Most of our parents had their offices in the city, but we all still had no idea why we were being called out so early.
Caitie and I walked home since our school was right next to our neighborhood, and I remember pointing out that there were no airplanes in the sky on our walk. Caitie agreed it was strange because we were right in the middle of Dullas and Reagan Nation airports. When we walked through our neighborhood, everyone was outside on their cellphones. Some were yelling into their phones, some were writing things down while talking slowly. That’s what we decided to pick up our pace to get home. When we walking into my driveway, my dad was outside on our house phone talking to someone, and he just said to us, “Go inside and look at the TV.”
I walked into the house, and sat on the couch down in my living room. I remember watching the first tower on fire and then the 2nd plane flying into the 2nd tower. I was both scared and amazed at what was happening. I had been on a plane the night before the attacks coming home from Chicago. I had flown alone for the first time, and realized if I had waited a day later I would not be sitting at home that day because I wouldn’t have been able to get a flight back to DC for a while. My dad came inside a few minutes later and told me that my mom was alright, but she had seen the plane fly right into the Pentagon. My mom was at conference with her coworkers and they could see everything from the building they were in. I did not leave the couch the entire day. I watched replays of the planes hit, listened to what the President had to say, watched as people scrambled for safety, I remember everything. The one story that has been engraved in my memory was about the little girl whose birthday it was and she was turning 5. Her and her mom were on their way to visit her grandma, but they never made it. Instead their plane hit the first tower.
The weekend after 9/11, my 3 friends and I had a lemonade stand where we raised $2,175 for the families of 9/11. One man saw our signs, turned his black BMW around and gave us a check for $200. He said something to us that I will never forget.
“It’s kids like you 4 that bring back hope in times like these. God Bless you.”
We delivered the money to the Firefighters that night and they said it was amazing that we raised that much in one day.
I believe that after the tragedies, America really became a country united. Everywhere you turned, there was a flag. We took too much for granted before we were attacked, and afterwards, we stood together to show the world they could not break us. The terrorists tried to bring us down, but in the process, they built us up. The world saw weakness, when we saw strength. Everyone was there for each other, and I believe that today should bring back that feeling all over America. Over the past 10 years, we have grown to hate, again. We fight over money, the war in Iraq, politics, etc… When 9/11 happened, all those things seemed to not exist. Hate brought terror to our country, which is why I believe today should show people why we need to forget the small things. Hate is easy, but love takes courage.
The attacks on September 11th were meant to attack the United States of America, but the people took them as an attack on every single individual who call this country home. I think the 10 year mark brings closure for some people. I know it’s brought some to me. We need to be grateful for our time we have been given here on Earth; For the freedoms we have been born with; For those fighting for our country each day, and for those whose lives were lost 10 years ago trying to save lives in the Pentagon, Twin Towers, and Flight 93. We are truly the Home of The Brave.